Jellyfish for food and its preparation

Edible jellyfish (Aurelia sp.) is called ‘Maeng krapun jarn’ (Gulf of Siam) or ‘Lodchong’ (Andaman Sea) in Thailand. Normally there are about three months a year, where these jellyfish for food preferable appear. During this jellyfish run, sea fishermen earn a sizeable, additional income by collecting these organisms. But edible jellyfish is available throughout the year in lesser numbers.

Which parts to eat from jellyfish

The jellyfish cap is regarded as the edible part of the organism and all other parts (oral arms, tentacles, gonads, and so on) are removed. Thereafter the cap is either washed in sea water and scraped to remove the mucus or the cap is put half a day long into ice water, as another possibility to remove the mucus.

How can jellyfish be eaten?

In Thailand, it is very popular to eat fresh jellyfish for food, especially as an uncooked jellyfish salad. For that, thin slithers of the cleaned cap are cut into stripes and mixed with different veggies, mustard sauce, soy sauce, and sesame oil.

Fresh jellyfish easily spoil. For export purposes, it will therefore be either dried and re-constituted at the import location (mainly Far-East Asian countries) or jellyfish will be fermented as an ingredient to other dishes.

According to a scientific paper by Gorbatenko, K.M., which can be found here, the calorific content of raw jellyfish, depending on species, is between 25 and 63 kcal/kg of raw matter. Aurelia limbata e.g.: delivers 44 kcal/kg. Ash residues are about 80% with very low essential organic and/or inorganic matter.

If the basic calorie requirement of an adult male is about 1850 kcal/day, it would be theoretically necessary to eat about 42 kg of raw Aurelia limbata meat per day to cover the daily energy requirement of an adult human male.

Lessons learned about eating jellyfish

  • Edible jellyfish are large organisms without long or stingy tentacles
  • Only the cap is used
  • Cap has to be cleaned from mucus
  • Jellyfish should be eaten as fresh as possible
  • Spicy sauces are a definite bonus to experience some taste
  • Jellyfish can only be regarded as a possibility to experience different food textures compared to other types of food, but not as a source of nutrients.

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